It’s been almost 20 years since I drive through 17 Mile Drive with some friends. To be honest, I have forgotten most of the things I have seen through this road then except for the golf course you will see in parts of the road. So in October this year, I decided to revisit this famous road at the Monterey Coast to rediscover all the sites. By the way, the name “17 Mile Drive” is the actually name of the road we will be explore for this post. But instead of following the usual road, I decided to make the most of my drive down to Monterey.
I started off at the Hopkins Marine Station because just a few yards from the entrance is a small beach where you can find some Harbor Seals. The Hopkins Marine Station is located in Ocean View Blvd. This is the starting point of the town of Pacific Grove. If you would like to watch the Harbor Seals, you can park your car on the street in front of the meter.
Drive westward in Ocean View Blvd. which is a great way to start your drive because this road leads you seaside which will give you the best views of the Monterey Coast. Continue on until you reach Lover’s Point. This part of Ocean View Blvd. is exactly what is suggest. I found couple hanging out at the rock of Lover’s Point, some were chilling at the nearby park. If you and your honey would like to come here for some quality time, you can find benches and picnic tables at the park.
Continue on to Ocean View Blvd. heading to Point Pinos. Ocean View Blvd. passing by the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course on the left and this road will then became Sunset Drive leading to Asilomar Beach, another place you can stop and chill. Driving through Sunset Drive, make a right on Spanish Bay Drive where you will find the Pacific Grove Gate where you would need to pay $10 per vehicle to enter 17 Mile Drive a just pass Point Joe where you will find yourself driving next to Pacific Coast.
Continue on this road and on the right, you will find a lookout for Bird Rock, a large rock yards from the edge of the coast where various species of birds would conjugate. On this occasion, I also heard a group of seals making noises. It was interesting to hear them here and not at Seal Rock, where you will typically them. To those hiking, you can walk to Seal Rock in a narrow path from Bird Rock.
From here you can drive through Cypress Point Golf Course until you hit the most famous sight in this road – the Lone Cypress, the lone cypress tree standing overlooking the ocean. There is a lookout with limited parking to this spot on the road. There is also a stairway leading to the tree for a closer look. But if you stay on the lookout area, you will see that this lone tree is not alone at all as another tree sits with the famous Cypress just yards away from it.
Continue driving less than a quarter mile and you will another natural feature – Ghost Tree. This is what looks like an old Cypress tree that somehow grew in a bizarre formation that seemed to have dehydrated over time. There are more than one of this in this lookout to awe and wonder.
From here, I continued driving to a very narrow road not realizing I was entering the small town of Pebble Beach where you will find the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course. It was difficult to stop and take photos of this famous golf course as the road gets narrow there was nowhere to stop for photos.
You can continue on driving north to Highway 1 Gate and you will pass the road on 17 Mile Drive that ascends. But I decided to exited at the Carmel Gate making a left on Ocean Avenue to get back to California Highway 1.
Years later I am very glad I revisited this part of the Monterey Coast. I was not able to take photos of the things I had seen then and I am glad I have my camera and smartphone with me for this trip. It is one of the most beautiful scenery in California and I’m glad to see it again. Now its time for you to see them.